It took a long time before I got to this point with my father. I wrote about what started it in a story that was published in an anthology Daddy: Reflections of Daddy Daughter Relationships. My father’s first rejection of me, his second oldest daughter, the one he used to call my love.
At the particular time, I hadn’t given up on our relationship. I professed my commitment to our relationship because he was the only father that I had. I didn’t feel that I had any choice.
Then, in 2018, my husband died and my father didn’t push past his own pride and reach out to me, his daughter. Then, in 2019, I suffered a stroke and he still didn’t call.
I didn’t need any other non-action on his part to know where I stood with him. It took all of that non-action, coupled with my ignored text messages and unanswered phone calls to him to finally get.
I gave my relationship with Dad to God and continued to live my life to the fullest.
When Dad’s birthday rolled around in December it everything for me not to reach him. His birthday was etched in my brain like a name scribbled in wet concrete that had dried. I’d never forgotten to call him or text him. This year was no different except that I was deciding to not to call him. I was no longer subjecting myself to his lack of response or reciprocation when my birthday, his daughter’s rolled around. My intent wasn’t to hurt him. I was simply protecting my feeling from being hurt by him.
After no “Happy Birthday”, “Happy Veteran’s Day”, “Happy Father’s Day” from me, something must have clicked in his brain. Suddenly, when October 15th, my birthday, rolled around, I received a “Happy Birthday” text from him.
I nearly fell out of my chair!
After the text for my birthday, I got another one for Christmas. Several months later I received one for Mother’s Day.
I didn’t know what had gotten into my Dad or how long these gestures of love would last? I didn’t know if he was trying to get me back on the bandwagon of displaying the love that he knew I still had for him.
But what I really didn’t know was that these gestures would lead to my Dad inviting myself and my siblings, whom he also had limited conversations with over the years, out to dinner with him Father’s Day 2021.
All I can say is: Look at God!